The Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds
I’ve been waiting for this book to come out for a while. I was really looking forward to reading it, not only because of the refreshing diversity and the cover, but also because of the premise.
I almost quit a couple times but kept going hoping it would get better. Taste is subjective and I’m sure there are lots of people who would love this book, but I am not one of them.
*The cons* The dialogue felt stilted. There was so much that was cliche about this — dying girl. Time travel. Boy in love with the best friend who’s in a relationship. Boy who is “average at everything” (and best friend who is the best at everything). Prom being the pinnacle of importance. I like a good cliche every once-in-a-while, but not so many together. The writing style wasn’t my favorite– I would have liked more implied (ie seeing feelings by how things were described) and less internal dialogue/ less “saying” what was already implied. I liked J, but liked him less as he talked more and was obnoxiously unaware of certain things.
There is *no* reason Kate couldn’t have told him what was wrong with her while he was at the hospital. Except for plot. This took me out of the story and made me put down the book. Also I had a hard time believing the time travel was triggered the way it was — like really? Of all the potential ways?
*The pros* I thought there was some great imagery and characterization– each character was vivid and unique. I liked the idea of this premise and the theme. I loved that the majority of the cast was POC and explored important issues like incarceration, divorce, death, love, etc.